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China is stepping up its diplomatic courage and testing how hard Biden pushes back

U.S. government officials are studying China’s growing diplomatic bravery and growing military claims, with elite athletes focusing on their most witty rival game films.

From the CIA to the White House, and from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom, what these officials report is much more motivated by China to continue its attacks during the first 100 days of the Biden administration. The Chinese are ready to oppose the little real and imaginary from the United States and its allies, despite escalating warnings and military operations around Taiwan.

The new message from Beijing is consistent: the Biden administration is promoting a false and dangerous story of competition between democracy and dictatorship in an attempt to undermine the rise of China. Therefore, countries around the world must decide whether to follow the split but declining United States, or to embrace China, which is emerging, united and unjudgmental.

Of China Xi Jinping Jintao, human rights violations and democratic failure says is an internal problem with no room for discussion. Beyond that, Chinese authorities are ready to publicly attack US records of racism and democracy. Beijing’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, attacked in an unprecedented 16 minutes. diatribe The first high-level US-China talks of the Biden administration will be held on March 18 in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Recently, there has been a tendency to compare China and the United States with’democracy and authoritarianism’and demand that the country be labeled. ” Said China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, is based on Alaska’s message at the Council on Foreign Relations last week. “But democracy is not Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola is a syrup made in the United States and tastes the same all over the world.”

“Using democracy and human rights to conduct value-oriented diplomacy, interfering with the internal affairs of other countries and causing conflicts, only leads to confusion and disasters,” Wang said.

His use of the term “disaster” drew the attention of his audience and he clarified what it meant.

“The Taiwan issue is the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US relations,” he said, arguing that opposition to Taiwan’s independence and separatist instincts should also benefit the United States. “Playing the’Taiwan Card’is as dangerous as playing with fire.”

Such rhetorical and potentially strategic changes do not happen by chance in (yes) authoritarian China. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to understand their meaning and respond appropriately. Given the contradictory combination of arrogance and anxiety in recent Chinese movements and measures, it is not easy.

On the other hand, Xi Jinping President, expects the growing public confidence that this is a Chinese historical moment. Xi breaks out of the pandemic Declaration The end of absolute poverty in the country.

At the same time, Xi is responding to new challenges from the Biden administration. The Biden administration itself is rapidly fleeing Covid-19 by investing $ 4 trillion through the distribution of impressive vaccines and counting economic stimulus and infrastructure development. Growth in the United States could be equal to or greater than that in China this year. 6.5%..

As President Biden, what the leaders of both countries seem to agree on is the fact that “we are at an inflection point in history.” Said This week’s joint session of the United States. “We are competing with China and other countries to win 21.st century. “

President Xi assembled it in another way earlier this year. Busy To the Communist School session: “The world has undergone major invisible changes in the first century, but time and circumstances are in our favor. This is the source of our determination and confidence.”

But in Biden, Xi is a more systematic and coherent leader than his predecessor and is willing to work within the institution and with allies.

Biden convened the first leader-level summit of the Japan-US-Australia-India Strategic Dialogue on March 12, bringing together leaders from Japan, Australia and India.Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was the first foreign leader on April 16th visit The White House since Biden took office, and the first two leaders Joint statement We have been supporting Taiwan since 1969.

Chinese leaders were also surprised on March 22, when the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese authorities for human rights abuses against a minority in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Beijing’s response was immediate, seemingly counterproductive, and slapped punitive measures against a wider range of EU individuals.The price of that harsh message is the European Parliament Placed on ice Recently announced investment agreement between China and the EU.

China’s current approach seems to have three immediate goals: a domestic audience, US partners and allies, and developing countries.

The priority of authoritarian leaders is political survival. President West strengthened hands within the Chinese Communist Party and weakened potential rivals by portraying the United States as a force of nationalist rally over Hong Kong and Taiwan and a determination to reverse the rise of China. It seems.

The second goal of China’s bravery is a preemptive effort to reach US allies and partners before the Biden administration has enough time to activate a larger common cause. If necessary, I would like to show that those who accept Washington at the expense of Beijing have high prices.

One US official quotes a Chinese saying to explain this strategy: “Kill chickens to scare monkeys.” President West’s third goal is to be the most invading developing country in China. The purpose here is to portray China as a more reliable and consistent partner for development, with a unique and inspiring track record of modernization and a commitment to stay away from the domestic affairs of other countries. (And in fact, it provides surveillance tools to fellow authoritarians to maintain power).

At the same time, of course, China is also testing the Biden administration. The goal is not to beat Washington, where consensus on China’s challenges is rising. Rather, it’s about testing the Biden administration’s willingness to deal with a number of issues, from technology management to human rights, but most importantly about Taiwan.

Beijing has bet from previous experience that President Biden’s bark will be worse than his bite. If you are confident of that, expect more China’s bravery and self-assertion in the next four years.

Frederick Kempe is a best-selling author, award-winning journalist, and president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, one of the most influential world affairs think tanks in the United States. He has worked for The Wall Street Journal for over 25 years as a Foreign Correspondent, Deputy Editor, and the longest editor of the European edition of this treatise. His latest book, Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Krusichov, and the Most Dangerous Places on Earth, is the New York Times bestseller and is published in more than 12 languages. Follow him on Twitter @FredKempe and subscribe to Inflection Points here. Every Saturday he looks at last week’s top stories and trends.

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China is stepping up its diplomatic courage and testing how hard Biden pushes back

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